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Brazil meat scandal

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    QX179R's Avatar
    85,643 posts since Feb '08
    • Brazil meat scandal: Tainted meat not exported to Singapore, says ambassador

      SINGAPORE: The meat scandal in Brazil where two companies are being investigated over allegations of tainted meat is a “localised problem” and does not affect exports to Singapore, Brazil’s ambassador to Singapore Flavio Damico told Channel NewsAsia on Monday (Mar 20).

      In a telephone interview, Mr Damico said: "Brazil is a huge country and among the thousands of meat production units, only three plants have been closed. From the information I have presently, none of these plants export meat to Singapore." 

      His comments came after a Brazilian police probe revealed that major meat producers bribed health inspectors to certify tainted food as fit for consumption.

      At least 30 people have been arrested in the probe. A poultry-processing plant run by the multinational BRF group and two meat-processing plants operated by JBS firm have also been shut down by Brazilian authorities.

      Brazil is the world's biggest beef and poultry exporting nation. It exports meat products to more than 150 countries, and its main markets include Singapore, China and Japan.

      The government has moved to allay fears that its meat products are fit for consumption. 

      "The Brazilian government places serious importance to food safety and are still investigating the matter,” Mr Damico said. “We see no reason for people to panic and we are open to working closely with the Singapore authorities to ease any worries."

      The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore said in a statement that Singapore does not import meat from the Brazilian processing plants in the scandal.


      A spokesperson for Dairy Farm Singapore - the parent company of supermarket chains such as Cold Storage, Marketplace and Jason's as well as Giant hypermarkets - said it has "received assurance from our suppliers that none of their brands and products are involved in the meat scandal and that none of their plants have been closed by the authorities". 

      Dairy Farm also runs 7-Eleven convenience stores in Singapore. 

      The company added that it will work with all stakeholders to monitor the situation, and to continue with its practice of diversified sourcing.  

      Supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice said it is seeking clarification from its poultry suppliers while awaiting investigation results from the Brazilian authorities. 

      In an emailed statement on Monday, a spokesperson said: "NTUC FairPrice is aware of ongoing investigations on JBS and BRF in Brazil, which supply Frangosul and Sadia products to our stores as well as various retailers in Singapore. 

      "As a responsible retailer, we take matters of food quality and safety very seriously." 

      A spokesperson for Sheng Siong told Channel NewsAsia that the supermarket chain will seek clarifications from their supplier as well. 

      Sheng Siong will also "closely monitor" the situation while waiting for the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore's (AVA) findings, he said. 

      Changi Airport’s biggest ground handler SATS, which handles baggage and passenger services such as providing inflight meals, also said it is looking into the matter.

      “Food safety is a key priority for us.  We are working with relevant authorities and are looking into this matter internally,” said the company’s vice-president of public affairs and branding Carolyn Khiu.

      Channel NewsAsia has reached out to other supermarket chains for comment. 

      - CNA/am
    • Brazil meat scandal: Affected processing plants not approved to export to Singapore, says AVA

      SINGAPORE: Singapore does not import meat from any of the processing plants involved in the meat scandal in Brazil, as none of the affected firms is approved to export its products to Singapore, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said on Monday (Mar 20).

      In a statement issued to the media, AVA added that it has stepped up surveillance of imported meat and meat products from Brazil and that it is "monitoring the situation closely". 

      The regulator said meat and meat products can only be imported into Singapore from AVA-accredited sources, which involves two levels of checks. 

      "AVA will first assess the robustness of an exporting country’s national animal health and food safety system and the authorities’ powers to enforce food safety requirements, such
      as minimising microbial contamination and chemical residues," it said. 

      It added that if the country has been approved as a source of meat supply, then each meat establishment within the country will be evaluated to ensure they meet Singapore's food safety requirements before it can be exported here. 

      Upon arrival into Singapore, every meat consignment is physically checked for spoilage. Its health certification will be verified at the point of import, AVA said. Samples are also taken for laboratory testing, including tests for food safety hazards - such as chemical residues, antibiotics and microbial pathogens - as well as authenticity, ensuring that the meat species match the species declared on the label. 

      "Products that fail our tests will not be allowed to be sold. To date, there have not been any significant instances of non-compliance in meat shipments from Brazil," AVA said. 

      "AVA is also working with our meat importers to monitor the situation and to be prepared to ramp up alternative sources, if necessary," it said. 

      Brazil's ambassador to Singapore, Flavio Damico, also told Channel NewsAsia earlier on Monday that the meat scandal does not affect exports to Singapore. 

      - CNA/dl
    • China calls on Brazil to take stricter safety measures on food shipments

      BEIJING: China on Tuesday called on Brazil to take stricter safety measures in its food shipments, as Brazilian officials scrambled to limit the fallout from a corruption scandal that led Beijing to suspend meat imports from its top supplier.

      China this week suspended imports of all Brazilian meat following a scandal in the South American country over the alleged bribery of health officials to allow the sale of tainted meat.

      "China is concerned by the quality problems of some meat products in Brazil," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters.

      "We hope that the Brazilian side will conduct a thorough investigation of the case...and take more stringent measures to ensure safe and reliable food exports to China."

      She declined to comment on when the temporary ban on Brazilian meat imports might be lifted. That decision will be made by China's Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).

      Senior Brazilian government officials spoke with AQSIQ's vice minister about the issue in a video conference on Tuesday, said a source briefed on the matter.

      The meeting was the highest level discussion yet between the two nations, underscoring the urgency with which Brazil and China want to avoid further disruption in trade.

      The source, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the information, did not elaborate on the meeting.

      AQSIQ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

      Brazil is the top supplier of beef to China, accounting for about 31 percent of its imports in the first half of last year. The second supplier, Australia, is still rebuilding its herd after drought and is not seen to be able to meet China's fast-growing demand.

      The South American country also supplies more than 85 percent of China's poultry meat imports, according to the United States agriculture department.

      Other major producers, such as the United States and some smaller European markets, are banned from supplying to China due to bird flu outbreaks.

      (Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Randy Fabi)

      - Reuters
    • Hong Kong suspends Brazilian meat imports following tainted food scandal

      SINGAPORE: Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety (CFS) on Tuesday (Mar 21) announced it has temporarily suspended the import of frozen and chilled meat, as well as poultry meat from Brazil.

      The precautionary measure came after a police probe revealed that major meat producers in Brazil were bribing health inspectors to certify tainted food as being fit for consumption. At least 30 people have been arrested. 

      "Upon learning of the incident, the CFS immediately contacted the Brazilian authorities concerned and the investigation ... is ongoing," the Hong Kong government website quoted a CFS spokesman as saying. 

      "The centre has therefore decided, as a precautionary measure, to temporarily suspend the import of frozen and chilled meat and poultry meat from Brazil," the spokesman added. 

      Hong Kong will continue to liaise with Brazil to obtain information on the case "for further assessment", the statement said, adding that surveillance on the affected products from Brazil "will be enhanced to safeguard food safety and public health". 

      According to the statement, the unit within Hong Kong's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has consistently conducted tests on food samples at import, wholesale and retail levels to ensure their compliance with the city's legal requirements. 

      "In the past three years, the CFS has taken 17,060 samples of meat and poultry meat for testing," it said. "Among them were 36 unsatisfactory samples, all of which were not related to the quality of Brazilian frozen and chilled meat or poultry meat." 

      Brazil is the world's biggest beef and poultry exporting nation. It exports meat products to more than 150 countries, and its main markets include Singapore, China and Japan.

      China has imposed a similar ban and called on Brazil to take stricter safety measures in its food shipments.

      The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore said that the city does not import meat from the affected meat processing plants in Brazil as they have not been approved to export to Singapore. 

      - CNA/hs
  • Lovnishkum85's Avatar
    2 posts since Mar '17
  • Raichurak44's Avatar
    6 posts since Mar '17
  • SOI's Avatar
    18 posts since Apr '17
    • should be a on going concern for meat eaters and govt agencies alike to continue monitoring the imports of such from all countries. Just cant take for granted.

      In fact, for all kinds of consumable imports.

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